Menorise; Saturday Sayings

"The Lord is greater than all: I have said enough."
(Saint Patrick)

MenOoWaC - Bandwhooping

Picking up on the rant about plastics (yesterday's post)...

Most of us are now aware that microplastics are an issue. Unseen plastics make life hard for those of us seeking to walk more lightly upon the planet. Cosmetics are one of the big culprits. When buying, it is frequently impossible to tell whether there are plastics within the contents, but certainly, those which have 'exfoliation' as part of their action need to be double checked. In fact, for cosmetics, we need to think even closer to home and ponder the effect upon our health with the continued use of such products. Here in the UK, Faith In Nature is one of the companies doing its utmost to set the balance right. Another bone of contention is the stuff used to cleanse - cotton buds, wipes, even cotton pads may be blended with synthetic fibres. Consider returning to good old soap and flannel, or crochet yourself some cotton-yarn washable eye-pads... or maybe purchase some konjac.

The biggest culprit, though, is (again) the packaging. If something is available in glass or metal, it is a far better choice. Back in 2011, Pantene touted their new 'enviro-friendly' bottles for their Pro-V Nature Fusion range, but have not (as far as can be determined) converted all their bottles to the bamboo variety.  Then there was the recent announcement from Lego, that they are moving towards the bamboo plastic.

That is still plastic though... the main benefit of it, environmentally speaking, is the carbon footprint of its manufacture. Calling it 'bio-' is tad misleading. With volatile oil prices and growing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, the chemical industry is looking for renewable alternatives to diversify its sources of raw materials. Sugarcane ethanol has emerged as an important ingredient to substitute for petroleum in the production of plastic. These so-called “bioplastics” have the same physical and chemical properties as regular plastic (the most common type is known technically as PET) and maintain full recycling capabilities.

Benefits of Bioplastics

  • Renewable. Sugarcane polyethylene replaces 30 percent or more of the petroleum that would otherwise be used to manufacture the plastic.
  • Lower carbon footprint. Each metric ton of bio - polyethylene produced avoids the emission of 2 to 2.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide on a lifecycle basis

Not ideal, but steps in the right direction. A project at Harvard looks much closer to what we would hope; all natural ingredient and fully biodegradable... but it does involve the use of shrimp and therefore those who are also advocates of vego/vegan approach would have some issues with it.

Next week, some projects... YAM xx


POSTSCRIPT; Here I am ten minutes before this goes live and the evening news has just announced that a large volume test has revealed microplastics in bottled water! Of course, because this is new research, all those with a vested interest are challenging the results and there are all sorts of disclaimers about 'no proof of risk to health'. Well, that's okay then.